Hilary Swank Revealed Her Shockingly Low Paycheck for Her Oscar-Winning Role in ‘Boys Don’t Cry’
Thankfully this year, equal pay for women has become a rallying cry across industries. Even in Hollywood, powerful women are coming forward to share their troubling stories in order to bring about real change. Last spring, Robin Wright spoke openly about demanding a paycheck that matched her House of Cards co-star, Kevin Spacey. Now, Hilary Swank revealed she was paid just $3,000 for her Academy Award-winning role in the 1999 film Boys Don’t Cry.
As a guest on Chelsea Handler’s Netflix talk show, Swank participated in a segment, which also included director Ava DuVernay, Connie Britton, and Miss USA Deshauna Barber, where she shared the jaw-dropping news. And to add insult to injury, the actress also revealed that her paycheck for the lauded film was so low that she didn’t even qualify for health insurance!
“I made $3,000. In order to have health insurance, you have to make $5,000. So I didn’t even know that I didn’t have health insurance until I went and tried to get a prescription filled,” Swank said. “They said, ‘That’s $160.’ I went, ‘Um, did you try my insurance?’ They said, ‘Mmm-hmm.’ I had an Academy Award, no health insurance.”
Swank went on to share that, even after taking home the most coveted award in show business twice, she continued to see drastic pay inequality between herself and her male counterparts.
“Then I win my second Academy Award, and the next couple movies later, I get offered a movie, but the male hadn’t had any kind of critical success, but had been in a movie where he was hot. And he got offered $10 million, and I got offered $500,000. That’s the truth. The truth,” she explained. “So I said, ‘No,’ and then they went and found a newcomer who did it for $50,000. So they made a savings of [$450,000], probably to give the guy his bonuses.”
Here’s the clip: